LED Lighting 101
LED lighting represents the latest development in the lighting industry. The energy efficiency and considerable lifespan of LED technology holds all the potential for changing the way organizations brighten their facilities by reducing the cost of electricity and overall energy use.
WHAT IS LED?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. (LED) produces light using a semiconductor material. This process is called electroluminescence; it’s more efficient than how incandescent bulbs produce light. LEDs also last longer using electroluminescence. Their small size allows LEDs to be used in a variety of applications that go beyond use as a traditional light bulb.
BENEFITS OF LED
LED lights and fixtures last years without burning out or quitting. Due to the lighting efficiency and increased lifespan, LED lights will pay for themselves 10x over in the long run.
LED lighting produces less waste light and more useful lumens than other lighting solutions. If you replaced all of the lights in your office, school, or home with LED lights you would see a 60%-70% increase in your overall energy savings.
Better Environmental Impact
It is becoming increasingly important for companies to become eco-friendly. Customers increasingly want environmentally friendly options and using an environmentally friendly light source can help companies reduce their energy use, as well as attract a socially conscious consumer base.
The environmental benefits of LED lighting also extend to their manufacturing process. Many traditional lighting sources, like fluorescent lighting and mercury vapor lights, use mercury internally as part of their construction. Because of this, when they reach the end of their lifespans, they require special handling.
You do not have to worry about any of these issues with LED lights.
No Heat or UV Emissions
If you’ve ever tried to change an incandescent light bulb right after it goes out, you know how hot they get when they’re in use. Traditional lighting sources use up to 90% of their energy into making heat and only about 10% of their energy is transmitted into visible light.
LEDs emit almost no heat, and most of the light they emit is within the visible spectrum. This feature is one reason that medical experts are looking at LEDs as a possible solution for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which affects many people during the darker months of the year.
It also makes LEDs ideal for illuminating works of art that will degrade or break down over time with exposure to UV rays.
Low Voltage Operation
If your business is in a location where flooding may occur, you want to be able to light your facility with devices that require as little voltage as possible. LEDs are perfect for this because they operate on very low voltage. When you use a low-voltage system in areas that may be prone to flooding, you are protecting your staff and others from potentially harmful or fatal shocks. If, during a flood clean-up, someone mistakenly touches some electrical component, a low-voltage lighting system that generates 12 volts is much safer than a line voltage system that generates 120 volts.
This also makes them extremely useful to use outdoors where other lighting solutions might not meet with local codes.
Ability to Operate in Extreme Temps
Traditional lighting sources don’t like cold weather. When the temperature drops, lighting sources, particularly fluorescent lamps, require a higher voltage to start, and the intensity of their light diminishes. LED lights/fixtures are able to withstand cold temperatures and continue to operate at high levels.
LEDs are very small (about the size of a spec of pepper). This means that they can be used in almost any application. Remember, their original use was as an indicator light in a circuit board. If you combine them in bunches, you create a traditional bulb. If you string together a series of LED lights, you create a line or series of lights — like a string of Christmas lights.
Think of the options this gives you for lighting in your facility. LED devices can be so small you can use them for illuminating everything from a shop floor to a major league football stadium.